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Readers' Writes, Spring 2006

Recommendations and raves, doom and gloom - it's all here!


Ardennes Restaurant, 114 West Street, Faversham, KENT.  ME13 7JB
01795-590008 http://www.ardennes.co.uk

Hi we visited this wonderful restaurant in Faversham Kent, this is our comment:
This restaurant should be based in London, or we should go to them. The whole area is so full of charm and history, with Canterbury being only Twenty minutes away. The food and service is superb, when they say freshly cooked, there is no question about that, it speaks for itself. I highly recommend it to all. Try and enjoy!!
Thanks, Sue Clarke


Two recommendations for you from sunny North London

Sargasso Sea N21 - www.sargassosea.co.uk - They also supply seafood to other restaurants in the area, always fantastic service and food to be had here!

Dylan's EN4 - www.dylansrestaurant.com - fairly new restaurant, ex One Aldwich staff bring the style and elegance of central London dining to Cockfosters!

I don't know of anyone who has had a bad meal in either of these establishments!

Many thanks - Shaun

Dear Mrs Beeton

I would like to pass on to you and your readers a recent experience I had at Darley's Restaurant in Derby

"Whilst the food here is quite good, although a full price for what you get, we were apalled at the way we were treated after rejecting a very poor bottle of wine which was on their recommended list. The wine was vinegary and completely flavourless. The manageress was breathtakingly hostile and rudely dismissive after we suggested that the wine was not acceptable. The attitude of the restaurant was utterly intransigent and arrogant, insisting that we paid for what we felt was bad wine, without even tasting it themselves. Having written to them a number of times to complain, they have not bothered to reply. We will not be going back."

Hope you will see fit to publish this on your website, I feel it is important to warn people about places that have a negative attitude toward customer service.

If you need further information, please do not hesitate to contact me. Many thanks.

Yours sincerely, Jonathan Davis


Hi, I would like to recommend Carpaccio, 4 Sydney Street, Chelsea SW3. I noticed there was no review and it is my favourite restaurant in London with fantastic food and a great atmosphere nightly. Thanks, you will enjoy! Sophie


From John Ramsay:
I'd like to recommend The Swan at Monks Eleigh in South Suffolk (near
Lavenham, Sudbury, Bury St Edmunds).

This young couple have invested their heart and know-how into this pub.  The
cooking is superb - a thoughtful mixture of the traditional and the new; the
best of local ingredients; and well trained cooking (Miller How and the
Walnut Tree!).  And then there's the service;  when we were there it was
just the  right mixture of friendly and professional.

Try it.


Comments on dinner at China Tang, The Dorchester, London W1t.

Having heard the buzz about town that China Tang was the latest and greatest for a bit of rubbernecking and excellent oriental cuisine, my partner and I decided to sample it. A daring endeavour, to create a modern, fashionable restaurant in an historic, aristocratic hotel lost somewhere in the 1930's. The designers have done a good job of branding, a separate entrance (although we strolled through the hushed ambience of the main lounge and bar of the Dorchester), leading into an artfully created art deco style Chinese bar. So far so good. Pre-dinner drinks were enjoyed, the crowd appearing to be the higher end of the Chelsea 'cool' people.

The restaurant itself is a large affair with a pleasant enough atmosphere, despite an over zealous waitress transparently pushing the up sell. A wine from Priorato (Priorat) sat on the wine list amongst the grossly over priced Bordeaux and Burgundies. This being my new found favourite region for a busty, heavy red wine, I was delighted to find one at £60. A stunning example too. By way of eating, we started with a variety of dim sum which duly appeared. Nothing spectacular to report here. Dim sum is now all over London and there are far better than this to be had. What followed was described by my partner as 'high end Chinese takeaway', and that was not intended in a positive way. A plate of pieces of lobster appeared lacking any attempt to present the dish to a standard befitting of $30, the meat being of average quality and the flavour lacklustre (even for lobster). The beef dish had the usual puffed up, beaten texture of Chinese restaurant beef, and did resemble the beef with spring onions my local Chinese does for 6 quid. The spinach side dish did not add much and the noodles not memorable.

We returned to the bar to ensure the experience was sandwiched with the positive feeling this bar provides. A couple of Armagnacs and a coffee accompanies by live lounge bar style music appeased the palate nicely. At £100 per head, there are numerous London restaurants which provide far higher quality cuisine, with possible rubbernecking if desired, and which do not feel annoyingly like a 'tuck-up' thanks solely to location and designer trends. I may return to the bar when passing by, however this one shall be left to those who have drifted from Chelsea and see themselves as climbing up towards the Mayfair set.

James Putland


Hello there. Can I recommend  Banburi? It's a Thai restaurant on the Harrow Road that deserves a bit of publicity. The address is 536 Harrow Road, close to Westbourne Park station ...

Best
David Rogers


Dear Mrs Beeton,
 
PSST.... there is another that you must check out if ever passing through.... (bookings taken to secure a seat)

"Soul Station"
Platform 9 (The Plough)
16 park street
Guildford
Surrey

07930 809 948

Good 'home-cooked' Caribbean food with all elements expected and more on the menu. Well presented food without the fuss. Rise to the challenge of Papa's hot sauce (I tried!) and live to tell the tale or get in for a Friday or Saturday and you may even co-incide with the live music.

Something I found out afterwards is that they do actually take bookings. This is definitely Surrey's best kept secret.

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